Melbourne woman claims she thought her partner had won $10.4 million in bungled Crypto refund
A woman who allegedly bought a dream home on the back of a $10.4million Crypto-transfer bungle believed her partner had won it, a court has heard.
The error happened when Crypto.com intended to give Thevamanogari Manivel a $100 refund in May 2021, but mistakenly entered an account number in the field of the bank transfer that was meant to be the dollar amount.
On Tuesday, the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court heard Manivel claimed she was duped by her co-accused.
Thilagavathy Gangadory – the sister of Thevamanogari Manivel – allegedly bought this home off the back of a massive Crypto.com mistake
The dream home was surrounded by weeds and appeared abandoned earlier this month
Crypto.com mistakenly transferred almost $10.4million to a Melbourne woman
Manivel’s barrister, Jessica Willard, told the court her client did not know the money might have been stolen.
‘The whole issue in relation to Ms Manivel is the dishonesty element – whether she knew that the money was stolen or not,’ she said.
The court heard upon her arrest, Manivel told police her co-accused had ‘won the money’.
‘That’s also what he says in his record of interview,’ Ms Manivel said.
The $10,474,143 mistake was only discovered in a company audit just before last Christmas; seven months after the transfer.
But representatives from the Commonwealth Bank claim the couple had been well informed that the money had been transferred by mistake.
Ms Willard will grill a CBA representative next month when the matter returns to court about how its investigation was carried out.
‘They say that there was contact along the way to alert her about the funds. CBA is really the crucial witness in regards to Ms Manivel,’ she said.
Prosecutor Vanessa Kambouropoulos told the court the bank had kept a record of its correspondence with the accused.
Dressed in blue prison, Manivel appeared in court via video link from Dame Phyllis Frost Centre.
The view earlier this month outside the million-dollar property Crypto bought
Crypto.com has also launched legal action against Manivel and her sister Thilagavathy Gangadory in an effort to get its money back.
When Crypto.com claims it tried to get its money back, $1.35million had already been spent on the luxury house and the rest had been moved to other accounts.
Littered with long, ugly weeds, the ‘Crypto house’ showed the telltale signs of neglect earlier this month when visited by Daily Mail Australia.
Crypto currency had been ending a rapid decline during the month of May last year when the error happened.
The Craigieburn home, which has four bathrooms, a home gym and cinema, was bought on February 3, the Herald Sun reported at the time.
Four days later, Crypto.com made freezing orders against Manivel’s bank account, but court documents show $10.1m had already been moved to a different joint account and $430,000 had been transferred to her daughter, Raveena Vijian.
The house registration was then transferred to the Malaysia-based Ms Gangadory before Crypto.com was able to take out freezing orders against her in March.
The company later took legal action in the Supreme Court seeking to get back the cost of the house plus 10 per cent interest.
Weeds take root in the home bought by proceeds from a crypto bungle
A child’s ride-on toy lays abandoned among the weeds of the home Crypto bought
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The action was successful by default as neither Ms Gangadory nor her legal representatives attended the court or lodged a defense.
Justice James Dudley Elliott ordering Ms Gangadory pay Crypto.com $1.35million, interest of $27,369 and costs, and that the Craigieburn house be sold.
‘It is established that the Craigieburn property was acquired with funds traceable to the wrongful payment and would never have been in Gangadory’s hands if the wrongful payment had not been made,” Mr Elliott said as he handed down his judgment.
‘Thus, Gangadory was unjustly enriched by receiving the purchase price of the Craigieburn property out of the wrongful payment.
‘Accordingly, I was satisfied that the orders relating to the sale of the Craigieburn property were appropriate.’
Thevamanogari Manivel reportedly bought a luxury house (pictured) in the Melbourne suburb of Craigieburn after mistakenly receiving a bank transfer of $10,474,143
The Victorian Supreme Court’s commercial division heard the case in May, but Justice Elliott’s judgment was only made available last month.
Because Ms Gangadory was not represented in court, Justice Elliott wrote that ‘references to the facts of this case based on such uncontested evidence are necessarily open to challenge if Gangadory ever seeks to set aside the default judgment’.
The judge added that she ‘has not responded to any of the correspondence fromCrypto.com’s) solicitors’ and that ‘the effect of not filing an appearance is that taken in the statement of claim are to be admitted’.
Separate orders have reportedly been made regarding the rest of the money transferred to Ms Manivel.
Crypto.com’s lawyers, Cornwalls Law, told Daily Mail Australia that as the matter is before the courts, it was unable to comment.